It’s hard to tell what’s going on in east Aleppo but it appears to be something of a rout by Syrian ground troops who now control several districts. It’s estimated about 10,000 civilians have fled whilst those tens of thousands who remain are without food or medical supplies & continue to sustain Syrian bombing.
Assad supporters cannot defend Syrian & Russian bombing of 250,000 civilians in east Aleppo so they avoid the issue or rail against “throat-cutting jihadists.” Now as the Syrian army advances, it is certain thousands of civilians who opposed Assad will pay the price of military defeat by the vengeful Assad dictatorship.
Apologists for the regime like Eva Bartlett & Max Blumenthal have now reduced the number of civilians in east Aleppo–Bartlett to 15,000; Blumenthal to 30,000. That will make it so much easier to explain those thousands forcibly disappeared, those dumped in Assad’s gulag, those murdered outright.
Blumenthal, Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, & their ilk have every right to defend dictatorship & carpet bombing of civilians. The tragedy is that a faction of the antiwar movement has championed their corrupt politics & adopted them as spokespersons. Beeley & Bartlett, both ardently pro-Assad, have free entry & travel throughout Syria & access to Assad, unlike the restrictions on most journalists, including from major media. They will both be speaking on a panel this Friday in NYC along with a pro-Assad Syrian from New Jersey; Sara Flounders, an antiwar activist; & Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report who claims barrel bombs are not a worse way to die than regular bombs.
We cannot allow such compromised political forces to miseducate & disorient antiwar activists. Nor can we allow those who call for US intervention & a No Fly Zone to be the only alternative. Either would be a historic catastrophe for Syrians. This gruesome photo is posted only to make clear what both those perspectives sanction in Syria.
Internationally, we must begin to gather & organize the forces of principled antiwar opposition to demand:
–the immediate cessation of Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians;
–the immediate cessation of US bombing;
–the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces whether by land, sea, air, overt or covert.
(Photo of east Aleppo after Syrian & Russian bombing siege from earlier 2016, from Genocide in Syria)